PETALING JAYA: Arie Irawan Fauzi ended a two-year title drought by winning the season-ending RM275,000 PGM Maybank Players’ Championship for his first success since April 2015.
The former national No. 1 fired a seven-under 65 to finish 10-under 278 at the Templer Park Country Club in Rawang yesterday, two ahead of overnight leader Kemarol Baharin who carded a 68.
The 27-year-old hit a RM47,150 jackpot and secured a well-deserved ticket to play in the European Tour’s jointly sanctioned Maybank Championship from Feb 1-4 next year.
It was Arie’s second victory in the tournament after claiming his first in 2014. His last title in 2015 came at the Asian Development Tour’s (ADT) Eagle Ridge Invitational in Manila.
Arie said he did not see the win coming after nailing eight birdies against a lone bogey for his best round of the season.
“I just wanted to play good golf as always, that’s the only thing that matters,” said Arie.
“I’m so glad that all my hard work in the past two years finally paid off. It was a day that everything was good in my game as I shot my season-best round. I hit the fairways and hit it really close to the holes today, and made some key putts early when I needed to.”
Arie, however, played down talk that he has rediscovered the form that made him one of the country’s best golfers in 2014 and 2015.
“Not yet. But this win does boost my confidence,” added Arie, who once ranked as high as No. 294 in the world.
Arie hopes to carry his fine form into next week’s Indonesian Masters in Jakarta, the Asian Tour’s final event.
Next month, he will attempt to regain the Asian Tour card – which he lost in 2015 – at the Asian Tour Qualifying school before trying to secure playing privileges in the China PGA Tour in February.
Meanwhile, Shahriffuddin Ariffin fended off R. Nachimuthu to be crowned the PGM Tour Order of Merit winner.
Shahriffuddin posted an impressive 67 for third place on a six-under 282 total. It earned him RM18,973, bringing his final season collection to RM136,282.
At 18, he became the youngest-ever player to achieve the feat since the Tour’s inception in 2011.
Nachimuthu failed in his last-ditch bid to dethrone Shahriffuddin as he could only finish fifth to pick up RM12,098. He settled for second in the money list with RM113,982.